Phred Nguyen

A native of Hue, Vietnam, Phred Nguyen carried on a long family tradition of fighting Western imperialists, seeing action in Hue, Da Nang, the 1968 Tet offensive, and the 1972 siege of Quang Tri. Considered to be the top terrorist in Cu Chi province, he served for five years with a cadre based in the tunnels outside Saigon. In his spare time, Nguyen made a name for himself locally as an independent winemaker, and gained a reputation for quality with Chateau Phred, known as "the Delta's finest". After the 1973 cease-fire, Phred opened the first souvenir shop in the region, which he operated until he was drafted. After difficult contract negotiations, he was put on waivers and traded to the Pathet Lao. A vacation trip in November, 1973 led to his taking up the cause of 300,000 Cambodian refugees, leading a delegation to Washington, D.C. to testify before a senate subcommittee.

When his option with the Pathet Lao was not renewed, Phred returned to his native country and was awarded a Phord Foundation grant in 1974. By the time Saigon fell the following May, he was once more in the military, serving as aide-de-camp to General Tran-Huu Tang in Ho Chi Minh City. During the following years Phred taught at the Vietnam People's Re-Education Center, leading a re-education seminar for former petty bourgeoisie. In 1978 he was appointed as ambassador to the United Nations, and moved to New York City. The highlight of his UN service was his June 1978 speech on ending the arms race.

Phred Nguyan now works as one of Vietnam's numerous "directors", well-connected facilitators who enable foreign businesses to become established. His projects in that capacity have included work with Nike, and with the 1990 NetAid fundraising event, which featured U.S. expat rocker Jimmy Ray Thudpucker. He is also a co-founder of the China Beach Arms resort.

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